President Barack Obama said the U.S. must continue updating its policies toward Cuba in remarks at a Democratic fundraiser in South Florida on Friday.
Obama said the U.S. has started to see changes on the island. U.S. policy aims will remain the same but the nation must find new tools to speak out, the president said.
Obama spoke at a reception at the Pinecrest home of Jorge Mas Santos and his wife Aleyda. Mas Santos is the chairman of the Cuban American National Foundation.
At the event – a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee – Obama planned to meet with Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas, sources told Telemundo 51.
Obama arrived in Miami Friday afternoon for a fundraising visit that will last nearly 24 hours.
The president stepped out of Air Force One at Miami International Airport at 4:15 p.m. He smiled and waved, walked down the steps and saluted before getting into a waiting limousine. It drove away a few minutes later.
He will attend three events, one for the Democratic National Committee and two for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Miami Herald reported.
Obama toured the Port of New Orleans earlier Friday.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, was among those who attended the event where Obama spoke about Cuba.
Obama pointed out that he was born around the same time Fidel Castro took power, and said it doesn't make sense that policies put in place more than 50 years ago would still be effective in the Internet age. The U.S. cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 and began the economic embargo the next year.
The administration has engaged in recent discussions about migration and mail and relaxed travel and remittance rules for Cuban Americans.
The president’s departure from MIA is scheduled for Saturday at 3:25 p.m.
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